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How the FRM® Exam Is Changing in 2021

By: Kaplan Schweser
January 14, 2021
Newspaper announcing 2020 FRM Exam changes

The Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) has announced changes to the FRM® Exam in 2021. There are new dates, a new format, and fees. Let’s take a closer look at how the FRM Exam is changing.

Part I and Part II 2021 Exam Date Changes

GARP announced a new date structure for Part I and Part II. Part I will be offered in May, July, and November 2021. Part II will be offered in May and December. Here are the specific dates.

Part I

  • May 8–21, 2021

  • July 10–23, 2021

  • November 13–26, 2021

Part II

  • May 15, 2021

  • December 4–10, 2021


FRM® Exam Format Changes

Part I of the FRM exam will be computer-based in May, July, and November and will feature 100 multiple-choice questions. Part II of the FRM exam will be paper-and-pencil-based in May and computer-based in December; both formats will have 80 multiple-choice questions. The duration of both parts of the exams will remain four hours.

Registration Changes

In addition, the registration timeframes for both parts have changed as follows:

  • Early—$550 (USD)
  • Standard—$750 (USD)

Note: There is an additional $400 one-time enrollment fee for the exam.

Are you thinking about taking the financial risk manager exam? Download the free Before You Sit for the FRM® Exam ebook for invaluable advice from successful FRM professionals about answering FRM exam questions.

2021 FRM® Exam Topics

Part I of the 2021 exam reflects the changes made in 2020. There are 60 readings in the curriculum instead, and GARP SMEs wrote the content in-house. As a result, Learning Objectives have content based on the SME material to increase their effectiveness. The topics and their weights for Part I in 2021 are as follows:

  • Foundations of Risk Management—20%
  • Financial Markets and Products—30%
  • Quantitative Analysis—20%
  • Valuation and Risk Models—30%

The FRM Part II exam retains the Liquidity and Treasury Risk section introduced in 2020. The topic weights for Part II in 2021 are:

  • Market Risk Measurement and Management—20% (vs. 25% in 2019)
  • Credit Risk Measurement and Management—20% (vs. 25% in 2019)
  • Operational Risk and Resiliency—20% (vs. 25% for Operational Risk in 2019)
  • Liquidity and Treasury Risk Management and Measurement—15%
  • Risk Management and Investment Management—15% (unchanged)
  • Current Issues in Financial Markets—10% (unchanged)

There are 101 readings in the 2020 Part II curriculum. (Get tips on how to answer Part II questions on these topics in this article.)

Study Guides Available From GARP

To help candidates understand what has been updated, these four guides are available for download from the GARP website:

  • Candidate Guide
  • Study Guide
  • Learning Objectives

For more details on the changes to the FRM Exam and its requirements, read our exam FAQ article.

Thinking About Taking the FRM® Exam in 2021?

Because of the changes to Part I and Part II of the FRM exam, it is important to have the most up-to-date study materials. Learn more here.

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